Absolutely Games and Team17 have announced Classified: France '44, an all-new turn-based tactics game set during the height of World War II — in the preliminary phases of the Allied Invasion in June 1944, to be precise.
“Myself and the team are huge fans of tactical turn-based games and strategy games, and so for Classified: France ’44 we not only wanted to evolve the genre and be ambitious in the game we have created, but also, we wanted to depict the largely untold story of heroism behind enemy lines in Northern France before D-Day,” said Absolutely Games CEO James Brooksby in a press release. “The Allies created groups of the world’s first special forces who teamed up with the French Resistance to cause destruction and mayhem in the lead up to D-Day, something that we can tell through Classified: France ’44‘s tense and exciting campaign and our characters. We’re looking forward to delivering our unique turn-based tactical game with its mix of tactical stealth, intense firefights, strategic campaign, and strong characters.”
Intriguing, no? If you're just as stoked as us to get your hands on the upcoming turn-based strategy IP, then be sure to read on for the full scoop. Classified: France '44 — what is it, and when can we expect to get our hands on it? Here's everything you need to know about Absolutely Games’ debut IP.
What Is Classified: France '44?
Going by the blurb, Classified: France ‘44 is a turn-based strategy game, and one that will centre its entire premise around the events leading up to the Allied Invasion in June of 1944. This will, more or less, conclude with the timeline surrounding D-Day, and essentially the rise and fall of the French Resistance during Germany’s takeover in the preliminary stages.
Clearly there’s a theme here: the French Resistance, and more importantly, its growing efforts to drive back the German invaders during some of the darkest days in human history. To some, these are the unsung heroes, and quite clearly, the warriors who Absolutely Games has every intention of representing in Classified: France ‘44.
From what we’ve caught so far, Classified: France ‘44 will plunge you into the thick of the French Resistance during the peak of its existence — a time during which the underground outfit boasted hundreds of thousands of members. This is where you, the overhead with the power to pull the strings, will embark on a series of covert operations to not only exploit the German infantry, but drive back its evil plots to oppress France in the buildup to D-Day.
It’s a turn-based game with a wartime aesthetic, so expect an Empire of Sin meets Sniper Elite sort of hybrid. As such, you can expect to delve into a world that’s rife with daring raids and covert operations — tasks in which you will take control of a team and utilize a very particular set of skills to complete objectives and aid the French Resistance.
According to the guys over at Absolutely Games: “Take charge of a special-ops team of Allied commandos and French resistance fighters. Recruit elite operatives to build your squad, then engage in a sweeping campaign of sabotage and destruction. Deal with competing factions to build the resistance network and strike at German targets deep in occupied territory. However, the more chaos you cause, the more you’ll draw the merciless attention of the Gestapo secret police.”
“In exciting missions inspired by the exploits of the Allies and French, the game expands on turn-based tactical concepts, bringing authentic World War 2 combat to life. The campaign allows for multiple playthroughs that are different each time. For those who really want to test their skills, our rich Mission Creator tool allows players to create, share and download custom missions.”
In addition to embarking on secret operations, players will also need to build their own teams of highly trained professionals, all from the cover of darkness. What’s interesting here is the fact that each new hire you onboard will have a story to tell. It’ll be your role, as the curator of war chronicles, to unravel them during your efforts to unite the citizens of France.
Classified: France ‘44 is being headed up by Absolutely Games, a new firm that’ll be making its grand debut with the aforementioned war IP. It’ll also be published by Team17, an established outfit whose works include Blasphemous, Dredge, and Hell Let Loose. So, rest assured that it’s in safe hands, basically.
“Being able to partner with James and his team at Absolutely Games to elevate the turn-based tactics genre and peel back the pages of history to the events of June 1944 is so exciting for us,” Team17 head of studios Roger Carpenter added. In another instance, the Team17 head said the game will be heading to PC and consoles at some stage in 2023. So, keep your eyes peeled!
As it turns out, there is a trailer to whet your appetite. Unfortunately, it’s a pretty cryptic CGI trailer that doesn’t give a great deal away other than the general aesthetic of the theme. Even still, it’s a trailer, and you can catch it for yourself in the video embedded above.
Release Date, Platforms & Editions
Classified: France '44 will be shaping up for a loose 2023 released on Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, and PC via Steam. It hasn't been said yet whether or not Absolutely Games has any intentions of bringing it to ex-gen consoles, though it's better to assume that it probably won't at this point in time — what with several studios transitioning away from older hardware in favor of their modernized counterparts.
Right now, we can’t say whether there’ll be any special editions or pre-order bonuses to get ahold of. That said, if Absolutely Games does have something of the sort up its sleeve, then there’s sure to be an announcement over the next several weeks.
If you've been left swinging on tenterhooks, then be sure to check in with Absolutely Games' official social feed for even more updates here. We'll be sure to fill you in just as soon as Classified: France '44 gets a concrete release date. Until then, it's over to Team17 and Absolutely to iron out the creases and have it prepped for launch.
So, what's your take? Will you be picking up a copy of Classified: France '44 when it releases later this year? Let us know your thoughts over on our socials here.